Andrea Torrey Balsara offers readings and workshops geared to writing, art and illustration as well as for child and youth empowerment. To learn more about these readings and workshops, or to book Andrea into your classroom or children’s/youth group, please click here to use the form provided on the contact page. Andrea is also available for motivational speaking/workshops for adult groups.

Read some testimonials …


(Readings are best done to smaller groups, but larger groups can be accommodated. For little ones (J.K. and S.K.) sessions can be split into two 25-minute sessions. Usual length for one session is 55 minutes.) Andrea’s fees are here.


The Hero’s Journey (for ages 12 and up)

Through storytelling, and readings from the author’s books, including Andrea’s most recent, the young adult illustrated novel, The Great & the Small,  students will learn to unlock the power of their own potential. They will be able to draw connections between the stories and heroes they love in literature, film, and pop culture, and their relevance to their own lives.  Especially powerful for young people dealing with loss, trauma, and anxiety.

*Other empowerment workshops/presentations can be crafted for your school/class.


 YO, HO, HO, and a Visit from Greenbeard the Pirate Pig! (for ages 4-10)

Young piggywinkles, ages 4-10, will enjoy a romp with Greenbeard! Andrea will read the story, GREENBEARD THE PIRATE PIG, ending with a rousing pirate shanty. Participants will learn how to do their very best, “AAaaarrrr,” and “AHOY!” and “AVAST!” and will learn how to sing like a pirate! A rolicking good time, followed by Q & A. (One 25 minute session is perfect for little ones who have trouble sitting still; schools can have two 25-minute sessions back to back. One 55 minute session includes a demonstration of illustrating techniques, and the basics of the book illustrating process. Movement activities are interspersed so that wee piggy winkles don’t get too wiggly!


UNITY ROCKS! Getting Excited About Diversity! (for ages 4-12)

u´ni·ty (ū´nə-tė) n. 1, the state of being united or uniform. 2, the quantity and integer one. 3, harmony among elements.

di·ver´si·ty (di-vẽr´sə-tė) n. 1, essential difference. 2, variety.

Through drama, storytelling, and music, young people work together in an atmosphere of acceptance, hope and action to help them discover the power of “Unity in Diversity.” Interactive, and great fun! Andrea’s picture book, The Nightingale’s Song, will be read, songs about unity will be sung (with guitar accompaniment!) and children of all backgrounds and ethnicities will feel like they belong.


Oh, HAPPY Days!! (can be adapted for all ages)

In this presentation, Andrea wears her illustrator hat. Reading from the “Happy the Pocket Mouse” series, which she illustrates (written by Philip Roy), Andrea will demonstrate how to construct a cartoon character. Perfect for young artists! The presentation can be expanded to include elements from the workshop, DRAWING FROM THE INSIDE OUT, making it adaptable for all age groups.




(Workshops are  limited to 30 students at a time, with a 90 minute minimum, depending upon the ages of participants. All workshops will be adapted according to participants’ ages. Ages 8 and up. All art supplies and paper are to be provided by the school/program; the list for supplies will be sent to the school/program in advance. Presentation and workshop fees are listed here.)


Drawing From the Inside Out!

A drawing workshop where participants will…

  • Learn basic drawing elements and techniques
  • Explore movement and feeling in their own art
  • Create pieces of art that reflect their unique approach to art


Writing from the Heart: How to Write What You Love

In this writing workshop, participants learn how to write about what matters to them

  • using writing exercises
  • music
  • writing prompts


Wearing TWO HATS: Being Author AND Illustrator!

A workshop where participants will learn…

  • The elements of story writing
  • Create their own cartoon characters
  • Use a storyboard to lay out illustrations
  • Create their own comic page (for longer sessions, participants can create their own small, illustrated book)


Zen and the Art of Rejection (for adult audiences-can be for small or large groups)

In this workshop/presentation, participants will learn that “failure” and the “death” of dreams can actually pave the way to balance and contentment. As someone who has experienced severe clinical depression in the past, and continues to manage PTSD, Andrea shares lessons learned, and gently guides others to shift their perspectives to view hardships as opportunities. Useful for people in all fields and walks of life, but particularly for writers/creatives. Can be adapted for any audience.



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